Wednesday, 1 April 2009 1:47 PM
South Melbourne has made it three wins in a row after defeating Whittlesea at Bob Jane Stadium on Tuesday night by 3 goals to 1.
The game was switched to Bob Jane Stadium after the Zebras were unable to host the match at Epping Stadium the night before. Despite the venue, the game was a designated Whittlesea home fixture.
The game started in a timid manner with both sides really struggling throughout the early stages to muster any meaningful chance on goal.
South however started to gain some ascendancy and through pocket rocket Goran Zoric, the lakeside club were nearly ahead after 10 minutes. A neat ball by Coveny allowed for Zoric to find himself in range just outside the area. With a non-committal Ross Antoniadis watching on, Zoric hit a curling shot into the prying arms of goalkeeper Kenny Gerohristodoulou.
South continued to come forward in waves and were thwarted twice more by Gerohristodoulou, who was starting to be the busiest player on the park given the South Melbourne dominance.
The Blues gained the 1-0 advantage after some sublime footwork by Coveny saw the veteran dart past a few defenders before playing an exceptional ball into the path of the well positioned Zoric just inside the area. The quick midfielder then calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to give his side the advantage, whilst also making himself the leading goal scorer in the competition after scoring his 5th goal in as many games.
It however was Whittlesea who would get the next goal of the match against the run of play. Some unsure South defending allowed for the ball to find the open Brandon Vassallo who brilliantly volleyed the ball past the helpless Tommi Tomich.
South had the final chance of an eventful first half in the dying moments of the period. A free kick was awarded after a brilliant solo run by Rama Tavsancioglu was cut short just outside the area. From the resultant free kick, Fernando De Moraes hit a wonderful curling shot into the left hand upright.
The second half started off in a similar way to the first half, with South coming out of the tunnel as the more attacking of the two sides, with half chances falling to Zoric and Coveny, who were both unable to bury them home.
Whittlesea also had some half chances in the opening 15 minutes of the half, with Edemer Garcia becomming a problem for the South defence, placing two timid chances into the arms of Tomich in the South goal.
It was South however who would strike first in the second half after a wonderful cross by Goran Zoric found Gianni De Nittis inside the area. Similar to his finish in the 2006 VPL Grand Final, De Nittis buried his header into the back of the net to give his side a one goal advantage once again.
South were dominating proceedings and some wonderful goalkeeping by Gerohristodoulou once again denied South from increasing their advantage. On this occasion he was able to acrobatically deny both Coveny and Fernando, who both managed to steer efforts from just outside the area onto the target.
With the Zebras on the back foot, South managed to grab the vital goal to close off the game. Some brilliant footwork by Brazilian maestro Fernando saw the midfielder slice his way past three Zebras defenders before slamming the ball over the sliding keeper.
South should have had another goal only moments later when Zoric was released into wide open space behind the stagnant Zebras defence. With only the keeper ahead of him, Zoric darted into the area and hit a low shot onto the target. With South fans already celebrating the goal thinking that Zoric had buried the ball into the bottom corner, goalkeeper Gerohristodoulou produced a remarkable point blank save to turn the shot around the post for a corner.
South was running rampant and closed the contest off by missing a host of chances in the final 5 minutes, with Nic Curtis coming closest by driving his shot over the bar.
However South could be pleased with a resounding 3-1 victory ahead of a very tough game against the league leading Richmond Eagles on Sunday. Kick-off for this vital game is at 4pm and all South members and fans are urged to make their way to lakeside and support the team as they push up the table.